Not So Red Velvet Cake
The cake may have looked more brown than red, but it still tasted JUST like a red velvet cake! Extremely moist and fluffy.
First things first, this cake calls for cake flour and not all purpose flour. Don't have Cake flour?
Make your own!
In the Quarantine/ Social distancing time, flour is hard to come by in grocery stores. I was lucky just to find all purpose flour let alone cake flour. What to do? Just make your own.
Use all purpose flour and for every cup of flour remove 2 tablespoons. Then add 2 tablespoons cornstarch. repeat for each cup of flour you need. This recipe calls for 3 cups so I repeated this 2 more times then sift flour and cornstarch together in another bowl to make sure it was combined.
Lets make the cake!
Now that you have made your cake flour, separate your ingredients. Make sure you bring your butter, eggs, buttermilk, and cream cheese to room temperature before you start baking. This is one of the big steps I always forget and it can set you back time wise a good bit.
One thing I have also started doing is read the instructions through all the way before doing anything. This way you can see what is ahead and if there are steps you like to do before they are in the listed in the instructions. For example, whipping the egg whites into a meringue was one of the last steps. I would have had to remove my already made cake batter from the mixing bowl to make the meringue. This way I can whip the meringue first and set aside then have my bowl free for my batter.
Let's get started. Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray your two 9" cake pans. I always use with Williams Sonoma Gold Touch cake pans. I promise every cake I have made just comes right out. I also always use Baker's Joy Nonstick Baking Spray with Flour. The flour keeps the cakes from sticking.
The first thing I do is separate my egg yolks and egg white. I then make a meringue with the egg whites and the whisk attachment. Beat on medium high or until soft peaks form. Make sure not to over beat the egg whites. You want soft stiff peaks. Set this aside and clean your bowl for the batter.
Separate your cake flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl and whisk together.
In a standing mixer and with a paddle attachment, beat your softened butter and sugar together. The recipe says to only beat for 1 minute, I usually beat for 3-5 minutes to make butter light and fluffy. You can then add the rest of your wet ingredients: 1 cup oil, 1 tbsp vanilla, egg yolks, and 1 tsp distilled white vinegar.
Mix on high until combined. The recipe calls for 2 minutes, but I am impatient so I only mixed for about 1 minute. You are now ready to mix in your dry ingredients and buttermilk. On low speed, alternate adding these starting with 1/3 dry ingredients and followed by a 1/3 of your cup of buttermilk. Mix until combined.
At this point, your cake batter should be creamy thick. It is time to add your food coloring. You want to get a nice rich, red color. The recipe says 2-3 tbsp red food dye. It may have been the brand of food coloring or the bottle is small, but I added the entire bottle and my cakes still ended up brown 🤷🏽♀. The batter looked like a pink/purple color so I still had some hope it was going to to be slightly pink cake. Close, but no cigar
Now, don't forget about your egg white meringue! You need this get the fluffiness in the cake. Fold in the meringue. To do this, scrape the outside out your bowl and pull the bottom of the batter over top through the middle of batter. Rotate your bowl as you go so you go all around and the meringue is fully incorporated. Now divide the batter evenly between your prepared cake pans.
Still looking pink/purple. Still had hope.
The instructions call for baking 30-32 minutes. I always set my timer 5 minutes early and then check on the cakes and cook in 5 minute increments until cakes are done. You will know if they are done by the toothpick test – stick a tooth pick in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean your cakes are done! You don't want to over bake.
Annnnd to my disappointment, my cakes were... brown.
Nothing really I can do about it from here. Brown velvet cake?
Make the Frosting!
While your cakes cool, get started on your frosting. Before I start anything I sift my powdered sugar. For more information on sifting and the types of sifters you can buy, go to my Coconut cake. Sifting helps keep your sugar light and gets out any lumps to give you smooth frosting.
Next, you want to beat your butter. I always mix my butter first before adding the cream cheese. Just to make it soft and fluffy. I don't think it makes any difference, just a routine thing. Once I have beaten the butter (only about 30 seconds - 1 minute. The butter should be nice and soft.) I add the 16 oz of room temp cream cheese and beat until the cream cheese and butter are fully combined and smooth – about 2 minutes.
Next add the res of your ingredients. I first added the vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream and mixed together just until combined. Then I added my powdered sugar a couple spoonfuls at a time. Mix and continue to add powdered sugar until all of it is added. Mix on high speed. Your frosting is now complete and you are ready to decorate.
For decorating, read how I built the layer cake and decorated in this post.
Get This Recipe
What to make your own Red Velvet Cake, go here for the full recipe and steps. Good luck!